My name is Amanda, and I have insomnia.
It’s a weird thing.
Because I want to sleep so badly.
I am exhausted, at all times, and every night I feel like I am 100% going to sleep. In fact, sometimes I fall asleep before I go to bed. Like while I watch TV with The Dudes, or sit at basketball practice, or eat dinner.
One second sort of awake, the next all the way asleep.
But when it comes time to actually go to bed at a regular nighttime hour, it’s like I get performance anxiety or something.
Even though I do all of the sleepy time things.
I power down my electronics, I get out my book, I start to read and doze off.
The moment I reach for the light the spell is broken and suddenly, I am awake!
And I don’t mean a little awake, I mean…
It’s like 30 seconds of dozing off has reset my brain for another 5 hours.
Sometimes I skip the book and the light.
Those nights are even worse -I usually just lay there and worry about going to sleep.
Like will I go to sleep? If so when? And for how long? If not, why? Ugh, I have a project due tomorrow and, wait, did I lock the garage door?!
And then I get a headache and I have to go get Tylenol and water and check the garage door and maybe pee again because I’d hate for a middle of the night pee to bring me down.
Usually it is past 1am at this point and I know that if I sleep it won’t be until around 4 which would maybe be great if I didn’t have to get up at 6.
It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does it goes on for days -sometimes weeks.
Insomnia is a vicious cycle and I know I’m not alone.
Insomnia: 13 Things Every Person Who Can’t Sleep Knows to be True
People kinda don’t believe you when you say you don’t sleep.
It means, I do not sleep. Like when you’re sleeping. I am not sleeping. I am staring at the wall beside my bed, or my ceiling. Or, I am listening out for strange nighttime sounds. Or burning a hole in the side of my husband’s snoring face with my eyes and wondering how someone can tell if someone was suffocated, and if I could plead insanity should I end him due to the fact that HIS SNORING IS DRIVING ME INSANE.
Sometimes even your spouse questions you.
Because maybe you were asleep when they got up for work. Or, maybe you were just pretending to be asleep because you didn’t want to answer 1000 questions about why you were awake, and when you went to sleep, and why you didn’t go to sleep. Because then you might feel compelled to confess to the whole I was lying there contemplating murdering you while you slept.
He can’t handle the truth.
And, it’s not that you’re not tired.
Because, real talk, you are so freaking tired.
There’s just this magic moment. If you catch it…
If you miss it…
You’re just awake. So. Very. Awake.
And some nights, you trick yourself.
You’re certain you will crash out when you get to bed because all day you’re barely able to keep your eyes open at work, dozing off on the couch at 7:30pm, embarrassing yourself in public…
And then, you get up to move to your bed and…
Sike. No sleep for you!
People are always trying to give you advice about how to sleep.
Yes, I’ve tried camomile. Yes, I take melatonin. No, I don’t use my phone right before bed. And yes, I have tried sleep meds.
And you truly have tried all of the things. People with insomnia want to sleep.
A comfy sleep spot, eye mask, ear plugs, Tylenol PM, essential oils, soothing rain sounds. Your own room. A hotel.
Including other people telling you how awesome they sleep.
I hate you good for you.
I know how awesome sleep is.
Because every now and then you get like 4 or 5 hours of sleep and you are winning.
So much winning.
Like, clean the house, kill it at work, make real dinner, maybe even exercise.
But, sadly, that’s not your normal.
Usually, you are just spending every day telling yourself you won’t die. And that everything will be okay.
You’re a fat liar and you know it.
Because we all know that tomorrow (and by tomorrow I really mean later today) you will be right back to your real life.
Just so, so tired.